Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Self Imposed Rules

I spend a lot of my time reading and will often have a couple of books on the go at anyone time, some of which will generally not trigger anything in my mind but still be an enjoyable read.

Then there are books that trigger a multitude of thoughts and questions. The book I have just finished did exactly that.

As I was reading it, things started to rise to the surface, mostly in the shape of questions, but also some realisations that I think I needed to become more aware of.

The first thing that I became aware of was just how many rules and how much pressure I have managed to impose on myself over the years. I suspect that a lot of these rules have been somewhat subconsciously inherited from peers at various stages. One of these is how often I mentally make promise after promise to myself to get things done, behave in a certain way, change certain aspects of my life, most of which I never keep, leaving me disappointed in myself. I kind of knew I was doing it and also to a certainn degree realised that failure to keep the promises to myself ultimately ended in disappointment. It wasn’t until I was reading the book that I fully realised just how ludicrous this was. I created the pressure of the promise to myself as well as the disappointment by not keeping the promise. On reflection, most of these promises to myself were rarely something I really wanted to do or achieve in the first place but mostly pressure to conform to the expectations of others (and an unknown part of me) and I suspect that the carrot at the end of the stick for me was the prospect of approval..

I have made an interesting observation since reading the book, specifically with regards to self imposed rules and promises. For the past few weeks I have been on guard for the sole purpose of catching myself making these rules and promises and have also managed to stop myself from making them. The interesting part is that I seem to have been more productive and yet at the same time more relaxed.

Let me give you an example:

For me, Sundays generally consist of doing the chores; washing, ironing, cleaning etc. I work Monday to Friday as well as most Saturdays and don’t have much time to do it during the week. As Sunday approaches I have created this mental to do list that, in my mind, I MUST complete before Monday morning. Now, this leaves very little time for me to do what I really want to do, which is catching up on reading, blogging, relaxing. In other words the exact opposite of doing the housework!!!

Do I complete my to do list every Sunday?? Of course not, I break this promise week in and week out. I will do some of it, usually the most important for monday morning and I spend the rest of the day blogging, reading or whatever takes my fancy. Monday morning arrives and guess what? I start to feel guilty about the things I didn’t do on my mental to do list and to make me feel slightly better about myself, I make a promise to complete the whole list next sunday and that is how the cycle generally goes. Feel free to laugh at this lunacy!!!

The peculiar thing is, now that I have stopped making these promises, to do lists, rules etc and have chosen to do what I want to do, I have strangely got more of the chores done before sunday even arrives. Ok, just so we are all on the same sheet here. There is no magic involved here but once I let go of the importance of completing the task it somehow felt less of a task and perhaps I approached it with a different mind set. The same applies at work, where I would be a master at procrastinating on certain tasks, tasks which obviously were of less importance to me than to the creator of the task (sometimes myself). As soon as I let go of the emotional attachment to the completion of the task, the task itself somehow becomes easier for me to handle.

Is it really this simple??

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The early days of me

It started with chocolate….

It then moved on to the harder stuff..

I then found that being close to nature made me more fulfilled

Unfortunately that didn’t pay the bills so I had to join the Rat Race of corporate life..

My brother then told me that I was getting far too stressed and needed some time away from the office, so we went to the beach..

This was a long time ago and sometimes I wish I could go back to remember what my thoughts were then. Looking at the photos of myself made smile but also brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to hug that child (me) and tell him that he is simply lovely! Is this ego feeding or for once an example of loving myself for who I am??

Masquerade

Last night I had the pleasure (written with a hint of sarcasm) of attending a works party. It was a late Christmas party for the area which meant a party of around 300 people. This type of event is generally as high up on my list of priorities as a trip to the dentist.

I know I am predominantly an introvert, which may be the reason why I typically do NOT like these types of events.

I find myself feeling bored very quickly. Bored with the empty conversations, which for the most part is largely to impress whoever is listening. During one of those meaningless conversations one girl looked at me and asked if she had offended me in any way, I suspect because I didn’t comment on whatever it was she was talking about, which also involved a lot of nervous laughter on her part. (This was an observation on my part and could have just been her normal laugh)

I was more the observer than the participant during this event and realise that for some, this may seem like odd behaviour. Normally I end up getting rather drunk to numb the boredom and the anxiety of being in a room with so many people, but last night I didn’t drink that much. The majority of the crowd did however and I wonder just how many of them used alcohol as a mask.

During events such as this I get to a point where the crowd and constant chatter becomes too much for me, at which point I tend to do my disappearing act, which generally means that I leave without saying goodbye to anyone. I know that to some people this may seem rude, however, this has become an automatic response based on past experience where saying goodbye usually resulted in being persuaded to stay. I know the alternative would be to just stamp my foot and say no to the persuasion of others but I find that the disappearing act works much better and quicker too.

I realise that I chose to attend, although this was purely due to the fact that I couldn’t come up with a good enough reason not to. I also realise that there is an element of fear in operation here because I also had the option of simply declining the invitation on the basis that I do not enjoy this type of soiree. However, that option involved (at least in my own mind) the risk of disapproval! So until I find the courage to face that risk, I either continue to attend events like this or master the art of excuses..

Note to self: Find the courage and face the risk.

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